Ryan Grim writes a post for The Politico titled “‘Betray Us’ ad unites GOP, distracts Dems“:
To judge from the wall-to-wall coverage of MoveOn.orgâ€™s full-page ad in the New York Times Monday, the liberal group strolled to the 18th hole up by two strokes, pulled out its driver and shanked one deep into the woods.
Wow, that sounds like a disaster for the Dems. But wait …
The solidifying beltway consensus is that the ad, which refers to General David Petraeus as â€œGeneral Betray Us,â€ was a blunder of the highest order, uniting Republicans and distracting Democrats at a time the party could instead be pressing for an end to the war.
Yes, Virginia, there are two Americas — inside the Beltway, and everywhere else. Outside of blog aficionados, Rush’s dittoheads and the zombies who watch Faux News, did “everywhere else” even notice?
Still, the Right is flogging the dying horse as hard as it can, because at the moment it’s all they’ve got. They can’t attack the Dems for wanting a quicker withdrawal from Iraq, or for being opposed to President Bush’s Iraq policies, because the public is overwhelmingly on the Dems’ side. So they are working as hard as they can to whip up public outrage over the “betray us” ad, attempting to turn it into a weapon of mass destraction.
Right before the midterm elections last year righties tried to turn a badly phrased joke by John Kerry into a national scandal that would tilt the elections in their favor. As former Republican congressman Dick Armey explained on MSNBC’s Hardball (October 31, 2006), “You misconstrue what somebody said. You isolate a statement, you lend your interpretation to it and then feign moral outrage.”
In that case, the feigned moral outrage seems to have persuaded John Kerry not to attempt another presidential run. But Dems won the midterms, anyway.
Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post — which, during Giuliani’s mayoralty, served as City Hall’s second press office — is parroting remarks Rudy is making about Hillary Clinton’s response to the Petraeus dog-and-pony show. Giuliani and the Post are working in tandem to sustain the dissipating outrage about the MoveOn ad, and are desperately trying to tie it to Hillary.
A bit of the Post editorial that Steve quotes —
Clinton not only couldn’t bring herself to criticize it [the Moveon ad], she also attacked Petraeus’ honesty: “The reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief,” she huffed to the general Tuesday
Giuliani, by contrast, had it exactly right.
He called the MoveOn ad “one of the more disgusting things that has happened in American politics.”
Added America’s Mayor: “The failure of the Democratic candidates to really condemn that, given how much money MoveOn.org spends on behalf of Democratic candidates, is unfortunate.”
See how it works — so much as criticizing General Petraeus is an outrage. It wouldn’t surprise me of Bush’s speechwriters work an oblique reference to the Moveon ad into tonight’s speech.
Perhaps no one should tell Rudy what other people have said …
In sharp contrast to the lionisation of Gen. David Petraeus by members of the U.S. Congress during his testimony this week, Petraeus’s superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), derided Petraeus as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting.
Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be “an ass-kissing little chickenshit” and added, “I hate people like that”, the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior.
I predict the Right will continue to feign outrage over the Moveon ad for another week or so, which is about the time it will take for them to realize the horse is dead and nobody cares.